Svedberg named winner of Baz Bastien Award

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Niklas Svedberg of the Providence Bruins has been named the winner of the Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding goaltender for the 2012-13 season, as voted by coaches, players and members of the media in each of the league’s 30 member cities.

Entering the final weekend of the regular season, Svedberg is 36-8-2 in 47 appearances for the Bruins, helping them to the Atlantic Division title and the best record in the AHL. His 36 wins rank second in the league this season and are the second-most by a rookie in the 77-year history of the AHL. Svedberg also ranks sixth with a 2.15 goals-against average and fourth with a .925 save percentage, allowing two goals or fewer in 34 of his 47 outings while posting four shutouts. Svedberg has a record of 24-2-1 over his last 27 starts since Jan. 4, including a 10-game winning streak from Jan. 20 to Feb. 22.

A 23-year-old native of Sollentuna, Sweden, Svedberg was the starting goaltender for the Eastern Conference at the 2013 AHL All-Star Game held in Providence, and was named a First Team AHL All-Star and earned a spot on the AHL All-Rookie Team last week. The CCM/AHL Rookie of the Month for March, Svedberg is the first rookie to be named the AHL’s outstanding goaltender since Jim Carey in 1994-95.

The Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award, which was first presented in 1984, honors former Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Baz Bastien, who played four seasons in goal with the AHL’s Pittsburgh Hornets (1945-49) before suffering a career-ending eye injury. Bastien would go on to serve as head coach and general manager of the Hornets, leading them to the 1967 Calder Cup championship. Previous winners of the award include Jon Casey (1985), Sam St. Laurent (1986), Mark Laforest (1987, 1991), Felix Potvin (1992), Corey Hirsch (1993), Manny Legace (1996), Martin Biron (1999), Dwayne Roloson (2001), Jason LaBarbera (2004, 2007), Ryan Miller (2005), Dany Sabourin (2006), Michael Leighton (2008), Cory Schneider (2009), Jonathan Bernier (2010), Brad Thiessen (2011) and Yann Danis (2012).

In operation since 1936, the American Hockey League continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. Nearly 90 percent of all players competing in the NHL are AHL graduates, and through the years the American Hockey League has been home to more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame. The 2012-13 regular season ends on Sunday, and then 16 clubs will continue to vie for the league’s coveted championship trophy when the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs get underway next week.